T Nation

Learning Capoeira

I’ve been thinking for a while about getting into a martial art- I feel I need to do something with my body besides just training. I want the discipline, felxibility and coordination that can be acquired through learning a martial art.

My roommate is a tae kwon doe black belt and I’ve gone to watch a few of his classes. As neat as some of the things they do are, I am more intruiged by capoeira than anything else. But since there are no schools around my town I thought it would be possible to individually learn some basics. My questions for anybody here that is involved in capoeira are:

What can I do by myself to learn some basics of capoeira?

Are there any speific type of weight training/stretches I could do to get my body prepared for the demands of capoeira?

Any input I could get will be appreciated.
Il Don

Rent/buy Tekken 3.

I took a few Capoeira classes this summer, so I’m no expert, but you may want to work on cartwheels- one handed, no hands, legs bent, a few in a row, really any permutation you can think of. I had a lot of trouble with them, and many movements are based around cartwheels. We also did a lot of hand stands, head stands, and push-up variations.

Capoeira: Roots of the Dance-Fight-Game and The Little Capoeira Book are 50% History and 50% Technique (illustrated by black stick figures…). Nothing too fancy hear, but the history of the game is more important to this art than most.

I read through Capoeira Conditioning: How to Build Strength, Agility, and Cardiovascular Fitness Using Capoeira Movements at Barnes and Noble. There were about 5-10 useful looking things in there.

Capoeira 100: An Illustrated Guide to the Essential Movements and Techniques just came out and as 2 good reviews on amazon. All technique, not much history. I haven’t read this one.

All are available on amazon. Try not to break your head.

ps - you may or may not get much discipline training on your own. that usually refers to ones ability to take inane orders without questioning them, having faith that your teacher will do what’s in your best interest.

I study it… and nothing beats a real teacher and playing in a roda!

Work on hand stands, hand stand push ups, as mentioned above cartwheels and such. Squats and lunges, LOTS of plyometrics. You should also work on flexibility, ESPECIALLY in the hips and legs.

You shouldnt be using your hands much so u wont gain punching skills and all that. The idea is that the hands are used for good things like making watches and such.

Make sure all your joints are in check! Thats a biggy.

AND remember that u wont be able to use this in a bar brawl! HOWEVER u will learn how to avoid being hit and learn to watch your opponent with capoeria in a fashion that is superior then what i have learned in any other martial art i studied.

And it tends to be a lot more fun too.

I’ve taken some Capoeira classes and I loved it. It’s an amazing workout! I would love to start again but unfortunately due to money issues I had to give it up.

But hopefully someday I will be able to start again. The class I was in was really small, most of the time no more than 2 students and the instructor. Which was good and bad. Good because it gave us one on one time with the instructor. But bad because I really couldn’t watch experienced Capoeiristas play in the Roda.

But I got to try to play the Berimbau and play in the Roda a couple of times. Which was cool and overwhelming all at the same time.

Oh and I really loved the music.